In the FI blogging world, certain names get referenced by folks whose opinions you respect until you reach a tipping point and decide to spend a few hours digging through their website to see what the hype is all about. Ms. Montana at Montana Money Adventures was toasted by so many of the bloggers I admire that I prepared myself for disappointment.
This had nothing to do with Ms. Montana and everything to do with the way I approach overly hyped books, films, or people. I prefer the under-promise/over-perform approach to discovery, so I tend to be wary of items in the spotlight. As academics will tell you, the secret to happiness is low expectations.
Here’s the thing: Ms. Montana’s posts were every bit as thoughtful, remarkable and moving as my big sibs in blogging had alluded to. She’s brilliant. A giver. Every post I read made me want to read another, and all of them were consistently high quality. She did not take shortcuts. Montana Money Adventures has been my go-to insomnia reading for the past couple of weeks.
I was recently entrusted to read a friend’s memoir about coping with his wife’s major unexpected health crisis one year into their marriage. Spoiler alert - she survived, they remain together, and her recovery continues to make strides three years later.
My friend describes, among many other things, the experience of being disappointed by friends he considered intimates who seemed to recede from view when he most needed their support. Several of these friends shared long histories of having been available when he needed them (and vice versa) during earlier stages of life, but then dropped off the map. There are many possible explanations/excuses, but none of them matter. The friendships are over.
In medicine, the Tanner scale of development uses physical characteristics to determine where an individual falls in their development from child to adulthood. Here’s my financial equivalent for newbie physicians (with minor modifications, it can apply to non-medical folks just as easily):
For physicians with specialties than enable them to scale back time commitments, I've always suspected that creating a "glide path to retirement" could make a significant difference in day to day quality of life.
Time to test that hypothesis! It's been six weeks at my reduced shift load as an emergency physician, and I thought it would be a worthwhile exercise to review what they’ve been like.
It’s the one year anniversary of Leonard Cohen’s death.
Here’s my tribute.
You’re probably thinking I shouldn’t quit my day job.
Once I reach my FI number, I may just quit anyway!
(For best results, play the video and read the revised lyrics below in time to the music)
Doctor goggling means diagnosing yourself with a new new terminal disease every week or so. It’s morbidity for the morbidly curious. It disproportionately affects those who know just enough to be dangerous. While it’s considered to be more of a med student malady, for lucky shmoes like me, it can endure far beyond residency.
Years ago, I bought an album because the title caught my eye: Some People Have Real Problems. I was browsing used CDs in a music store back when both of those existed, and I felt the universe trying to restore perspective to my personal pity party.
The first year of medical school is spent acquiring the complex vocabulary of medicine.
Reading books on finance and investing requires an analogous amount of deciphering intimidating terms that obfuscate useful concepts.
One can make the case that intimate comprehension of a vocabulary distinguishes those who truly understand a branch of knowledge from those who don’t. Unfortunately, there is often little distinction between useful lexicon that helps shade nuanced meanings and useless jargon that excludes those who aren’t members of the trade.